The Year of 40: The countdown begins!

by Christie Browning

**Author's note: This blog series is a year-long installment which will chronicle the year that I turn 40 with some comical moments, retrospective insights and empowering calls to action.

T-minus 25 days until I hit the big 4-0! Yep, August 26th I am officially 40 years old! It's really hard to believe that my driver's license will indicate my four decades of life when in reality my mind still tells me I am 18. 

I decided several months ago that I was going to take a few days away from the office to celebrate my birthday. Now, I have no idea what I will be doing during those days... it may be binge watching "Gilmore Girls" or spending time reading a good book. Who knows? I am totally open to your suggestions! Please feel free to leave yours in the comments.

In all seriousness, it's been a really busy year and the thought of having a day to myself - to not watch the clock, rush off to an appointment, or stick close to my cell phone - that sounds like Heaven!

Distractions and busy-ness suck the life out of me. If anything is going to eat away at my purpose, my focus and my ambition it is becoming distracted and busy with things that don't matter in the grand scheme of life. Before I know it, 40 years have gone by and I wonder what I have to show for it. So many good intentions left to sour, so many great ideas that never took root. 

This morning I was listening to a podcast interview with the two guys who are responsible for the Oolah Life movement - a push for better life balance. As they unpacked their story of uncovering a life that is full of all the things they love, they shared one aspect of their plan for better balance -- identifying where they are, where they want to go and what it takes to get there for seven areas of life. 

Honestly, as I listened to the interview I thought, "This sounds great, but I can't even get one area of life on track. How can I focus on seven?!" As the interview continued, the two balance gurus offered some key tips on developing these seven areas of life. Most of the interview can be boiled down into one word - "Intentional." Instead of wandering through life chasing after all things shiny and new, what if every aspect of our daily life was met with intent - with a plan to be present, be purposeful and to push every drop of goodness out of that aspect of living.

It seems that if we could be intentional in this style of life, even when tough times hit, we could weather that season healthier and with more emotional stamina. The reality is... all seven of these areas impact each other. And yes, while it may be tough to keep all seven plates spinning, each spin fuels the next. Greater faith means better family and finances. When your fitness is in check, you can have more fun and run more after your field (career). See, it is all connected.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing to celebrate the big 40th birthday, but I can tell you that my birthday present just might be the Oola book for Women !